Swiss study shows children are not adversely affected by attending day care

Swiss study shows children are not adversely affected by attending day care

by Freya Lucas

September 16, 2019

A study has found that putting children in long day care, in the Swiss context “does not adversely affect their development”, also finding “no difference between children who go to day care or who stay at home.” 


The study, the results of which were highlighted by the Tages -Anzeiger a local news publication, was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Zurich, and is believed to be the first of its kind conducted in Switzerland. 


Researchers investigated the relationship between the type of childcare an individual received, and their subsequent performance in four developmental areas: gross and fine motor, cognitive, social and language. 


Children of toddler age (18-24 months) were examined, with the cohort of 637 children being either cared for exclusively at home by parents or relatives, or those who attended formal day care settings for a minimum of two days per week. 


The children were assessed using standardised assessment tools, after which a comparison was made between the two groups. The results suggested that, for those tested “childcare type is not related to a toddler’s cognitive, gross and fine motor, social or language skills,” authors noted. 


In an interview with Swiss Public Television, lead author Moritz Daum said the results were unsurprising, given the high standard of care in the country. 


Key to children’s growth and development, regardless of setting, was attention, varied learning opportunities, outdoor play time, interaction with others, and having a warm and responsive caregiver, he said. 


To learn more about the findings, or to read the study in full, please see here